New Year’s Wishes
If you’re like a lot of Americans, one of your New Year’s resolutions — right after surviving New Year’s Eve — is getting in shape.
According to the International Health, Racquet, & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), over 12% of new gym members join in January, making it the busiest month of the year.
“January is the perfect storm,” IHRSA Chairman Bill McBride tells USA Today. “You’ve got cold weather, a long month, psychological awareness about achieving goals, and everybody’s finally out of vacation mode.”
Sadly, only 20% of these new members are still pumping iron and/or working up a sweat on the treadmill in June.
Why People Cancel Their Gym Memberships
There are a lot of reasons people stop going to the gym. While most — 46%, according to the IHRSA — cite cost as the primary reason they lose interest, the truth is most people don’t use their gym membership at all (which is probably why the cost seems prohibitive). A recent Statistic Brain Research Institute survey of 5,313 U.S. gym clients found that nearly two-thirds (63%) of gym memberships go unused.
And here’s the dirty little secret: gyms know this.
“If gyms operate at more than 5% of their membership at any given time, no one can use the gym,” claims branding consultant Peter Shankman. “[Gyms] want [people] to sign up, but they know that after the 15th of January, they won’t see 95% of them again.”
Gym regulars take a dim view of “newbies” as well. According to research from Coupon Cabin, 56% of current gym members don’t like “New Year’s resolution” crowd.
Given this, how do new gym-goers stay motivated? Here are four tips:
1. Sign Up for Classes and Other Activities Apart From Weight Training
According to the IHRSA, “88% of group exercise members retained their membership compared to 82% of gym-only members. And the risk of canceling was 56% higher in gym-only members compared to group exercisers (27.6 cancellations per thousand per month versus 17.7).”
2. Set Goals
Approximately 94% of gym-goers who set goals remain active nine months later, according to data from Strava. The numbers also show that people who work out in groups tend to run/cycle 21% more and work out 10% longer. This underscores the importance of having defined objectives to get the most out of your gym membership.
3. Find a Gym That Is Close By and Easy to Get To
It’s really easy to talk yourself out of going to the gym when getting there is akin to the Carolean Death March. Research shows that 50% of gym members stick with their current gym because of its convenient location. Convenience is undoubtedly why 53.2% of gym members also have exercise equipment at home. So, Google “gyms near me” when starting your search for places to work out.
4. Be Determined, Not Motivated
Gym motivation waxes and wanes based on how we feel, so be determined, be driven. As former Navy SEAL, ultramarathon runner, triathlete, motivational speaker and author David Goggins says: “Motivation is crap. Motivation comes and goes. When you’re driven, whatever is in front of you will get destroyed.”